So your kiddos are out of school for Thanksgiving break, and you’re going crazy trying to keep them from going crazy?  I feel ya.  Here are some fun and free fall activities to keep your kids busy and you sane!

Leaf Gathering

We love making a big pile of fallen leaves and run straight through them full speed.  The leaves flying up into the air makes my kids die laughing.  It also makes for some really great photos!  You could also throw the leaves up into the air, try to keep a leaf floating by blowing it up (making a game out of it)…use your imagination and encourage your kids to come up with different ways to play with leaves.

Leaf Rubbing (Uses Crayons and Paper)

When you’re done running through the leaves, take a couple of the nicer/bigger/fuller ones and make a great piece of artwork!  Bring them inside and lay a plain white sheet of paper over them.  Using the side of a crayon, rub the crayon over the paper.  This will let the veins of the leaf appear on the paper, creating an outline of the leaf.  The kids think it’s magic!

Nature Walk

So your kids may need some “outside time” but you’re not really sure how to keep them entertained.  When it starts getting crazy in our house, I make a list of things we might see outside this time of year.  Think leaves, sticks, trees, dogs, etc.  With older children, you can even include numbers to make them count the items they see.  Then, we take a walk around the block, looking for those items.  Once we find everything on the list, we go inside for our “reward” (also known as afternoon snack time!).

Inside Camp Out

It could be too chilly outside in some areas to camp out outside – fortunately here in the south, we don’t have that problem!  But I love a good indoor camp out, and my kiddos do too.  I grab a bunch of extra pillows, blankets, sleeping bags, and whatever else we feel like would make a good tent.  Then I pull the chairs from our dining table and encourage my kids to create their tent using anything they want in the house.  This is a great problem solving activity for them too!  If the tent keeps collapsing, we work together to figure out different causes and ways to fix it.  Then, we camp out inside the tent and watch a movie or make shadow puppets on the ceiling using a flashlight (depending on how dark the inside of the tent is and what materials we used).

Leaf Printing (Uses Paint and Paper)

Check out my leaf printing craft HERE.  It’s a great and easy craft for older kids (or younger ones who can sit and follow directions) and it makes some great art work to hang up for when family is over for Thanksgiving.  Because you all know having to decorate with kids around is stressful in itself!


There you have it – my favorite fall activities to keep my kids busy!  What are some other ideas for keeping kids entertained during fall breaks in school? 

And check out some of my other Thanksgiving-themed posts right here:

Apple Cider Cocktails (A MUST when family is coming over!)

Setting a Beautiful Thanksgiving Table (on a budget, because…well, life)

Crockpot Pumpkin Butter (Delicious AND makes your house smell amazing)